Menstrual Cups and Cramps
Keep on reading for the definitive guide to menstrual cups and cramps.
You probably want to know…
Do menstrual cups cause cramps? Can cramps be relieved by wearing a menstrual cup?
Keep on reading because we’ll answer those important questions.
There are various questions and confusions about menstrual cups and cramps doing the rounds. Some people are confused if the pain and cramps are associated with their periods, or occurring due to the use of period cups.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the Internet. However, we’ll do our best to give you some solid answers to these tough questions.
Cramping: Caused by Improper Menstrual Cup Positioning?
Some people are very sure that period cramps are the body’s inflammatory reaction to improper positioning and/or wrong size of menstrual cup.
Menstrual Cup is too Long
A period cup that is too long can also cause a menstrual cup to push up against the cervix, which obviously won’t be comfortable, and may result in cramping.
Cervix Position Changes Throughout Cycle
Your cervix position can change throughout your cycle, which is why you might have cramps on one day in reaction to a menstrual cup, and not on another day.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about this problem. Do pay attention to this closely though and keep a detailed journal.
Maybe you only get cramps when wearing a menstrual cup on the second day or your period, but not the first and third. If this is the case for a few periods in a row, use this knowledge to your advantage. Wear a tampon on the second day, and a menstrual cup for the fest of them.
Menstrual Cup is too Big
Or, if you’re a smaller person that hasn’t given birth vaginally, some cups with a large diameter might simply be too big to fit properly into your vaginal canal. Even if you can insert them, these cups that are too big will push strongly against your vaginal canal walls.
In this case, you won’t be comfortable wearing your menstrual cup and you’ll irritate that area, which may cause cramps or pain.
Not Sure Which Size Menstrual Cup you Need?
If you aren’t sure whether or not you need a small or large cup, or a short or long one, then you’ll need to check out this quiz we put together.
There are five simple questions that’ll take a minute of your time. We’ve put together the information from our handy menstrual cup comparison chart, along with our extensive knowledge from reviewing all the cups and made it work for you.
Check it out: Menstrual Cup Quiz.
Cramping: The Body Trying to Adapt to a Menstrual Cup?
Others think that menstrual cups can cause muscle spasms due to the body adapting to something new inside of it. Think about it as your body using a new group of muscles that it wouldn’t normally use.
It will take a while for them to get stronger and to adapt to something the size of a menstrual cup inside of you. They are quite big, as you might notice the first time you try to put one in.
If this is the case for you, your body will eventually adapt so keep wearing the cup, as long as the cramps are not too bad. Give your body a cycle or two to see if it gets used to having something like a menstrual cup inside of it.
Most people find that cramps caused by a menstrual cup get better, not worse over a few cycles. Hopefully this is the case for you too.
What People are Saying about Menstrual Cups and Cramps
There are several online forums and discussion boards that discuss the occurrence of period cramps while using menstrual cups. Interestingly, a vast majority of people on these forums agree that period cups are highly comfortable.
Most people agree that cramps are not due to using a menstrual cup. Instead, cramps are just a normal body function and aren’t actually related to menstrual cup usage in any way.
However, there are most certainly cases where menstrual cramps have been experienced by people who don’t normally have them, when using a menstrual cup. So, it is indeed possible.
Let’s explore a few of the common reasons why people might get cramps:
Period Cramps: Things that Cause Them
There are many factors that cause period cramps. Some of these include:
• Endometriosis: This is a cramp or pelvic pain, which can last for many days before, and after your menstrual cycle. It can also include abdominal as well as lower back pain.
• Adenomyosis: This is another gynaecological condition that causes cramps and pain.
• Fibroids: Most people develop fibroids of various sizes in the uterus over the course of their lives. These can sometimes lead to menstrual cramps.
• IUDs: Tools like the copper IUD can also be the cause of pain and period cramps. This is especially true if not inserted correctly (always see a doctor experienced in this area to insert it!).
• Etc: Other reasons might include uterine defects and pelvic inflammatory diseases. We’ve put menstrual cups into this category as well because there are a few reports of them causing cramps.
Menstrual Cups and Endometriosis
The President of the Associated Pharmacologists and Toxicologists – Mr. Armand Lione, Ph.D., sent a petition to the FDA saying menstrual cups are likely to cause an increased risk of endometriosis and cramps.
Despite noting the rationality of the petitioner’s concern, the FDA refused to act on the petition. This is because there was no clinical data that showed a link between the use of the menstrual cups and endometriosis.
As of 2018, there are still no studies proving any conclusive links between menstrual cups and cramps. While there may indeed be some anecdotal evidence, there is really nothing conclusive to report about this.
People with a Prolapsed Uterus
It’s interesting to note that people who have a tilted uterus do not seem to have any problem when using menstrual cups. However, in such cases, one has to choose cups of the appropriate size and having the requisite features, as the cervix wall is bound to be high in such people.
In case you have a prolapsed uterus, you may have to consult your gynaecologist before you use a period cup. They can give you some advice on choosing the best menstrual cup for your body type.
Can Menstrual Cups Reduce Cramps?
There are quite a few menstrual cup manufacturers who state that menstrual cups actually help reduce cramps. There are also plenty of reports of this from people around the Internet.
But, is it actually true and why would it be the case?
The reasoning behind how a menstrual cup could reduce cramps is uncertain. However, it has been reported by enough people to be taken seriously.
So far, there are no conclusive studies about this, so we hope that more research is done.
If you are one of these people, please leave a comment below and share your experience.
Menstrual Cups and Cramps: Actual Users
Perhaps the best source of information about cramps and menstrual cups is from people who actually use menstrual cups. We had a detailed look on Amazon at reviews of the five most popular menstrual cups in the world, The Diva Cup, MoonCup, Lena Cup, Lunette Cup and the Anigan Evacup.
We looked specifically at the 1 and 2 star reviews (out of 5). There are thousands of reviews of these popular products. We couldn’t find a single mention of the menstrual cup having caused cramps. People didn’t like the menstrual cup for other reasons including leaking, difficulty of removal, bad smell, etc.
If this isn’t conclusive proof that menstrual cups don’t cause cramps in the majority of people that use them, we don’t know what is! It certainly convinced us that menstrual cups probably aren’t the cause of the vast majority of menstrual cramps.
Although it is certainly possible that menstrual cups cause cramps for some people, most people won’t experience any problems with this. So try out a menstrual cup for yourself and don’t worry too much about cramps. Anecdotally, there doesn’t seem to be a link.
The takeaway on menstrual cups and cramps: menstrual cups and cramps-no real link as far as we can find.
We’d love additional input on this. Any doctors, or researchers out there with some cold, hard research studies?
Avoid Cramps when Using a Cup: Some Advice
Get the Correct Size Cup
When you decide to use a menstrual cup, read the instructions, and see what size suits you the best. Of course, take the help of a health professional and ask for advice, if you need it.
If you need some help in choosing the best menstrual cup for your body type, then you’ll want to check out our menstrual cup quiz. Five easy questions, one minute of your time. At the end, a solid recommendation for the best cup.
Have Some Patience
You may need to patiently try out the menstrual cups for a few times until your body is comfortable with it. It is a new sensation to have something that big inside your vaginal canal if you’ve previously been using only a pad, or tampons.
Remember, your muscles may need some time to adapt, so be patient and allow time for that to happen.
Any Tips for Reducing Period Cramps?
Cramps are probably the worst part about getting a period. However, there are a few things you can do besides laying in bed drinking wine and eating chocolate to make yourself feel better.
All the Details you Need to Know about Menstrual Cups
Before you start using menstrual cups, you ought to have a fair understanding of what they are and how to use them the right way. Keep on reading for everything menstrual cups!
Menstrual cup and its Usage
These cups are made up of medically approved high-grade silicone (for example, the Lunette Cup), Thermoplastic Elastomer (Meluna Cup) or rubber (the Keeper). This makes them flexible enough to be inserted inside the vaginal canal.
Once inserted, the lid of the menstrual cup opens and fits comfortably against your vaginal wall. It then collects your menstrual fluid, up to 40 ml, depending on the size and brand of product you are using.
Two Basic Menstrual Cup Options
Though different manufacturers offer menstrual cups in different models, marketed under different names, there are basically two types.
One is for people below 30 and the other is for those above 30 years, who have given childbirth. When you buy a menstrual cup, make sure to buy the appropriate one that matches your body’s contour and the rate of flow.
You should also follow the instructions for inserting these cups the right way. This helps to avoid any cramps or discomfort. It could take a while to get used to these menstrual cups though.
Need Help Choosing the Correct Menstrual Cup for your Body?
Ready to Buy a Menstrual Cup?
These companies that stand behind their products and offer excellent customer service. Included with the cup are comprehensive instructions for how to insert and remove the cup, as well as troubleshooting if there is a problem.
Or, just head on over to Amazon and check out our top-rated menstrual cup here on this website, the Diva Cup. Manufactured in Canada, it’s the menstrual cup to which all others are compared. Check it out for yourself today:
Have your Say: Menstrual Cups and Cramps
What do you think about menstrual cups and cramps? Do period cups make menstrual cramps worse? Or, alleviate them.
Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience with cramps and menstrual cups, including the Diva Cup.